Can You Sue the At-Fault Driver if They Carry Inadequate Insurance?

20 May 2021
 Categories: Law, Blog


Depending on your state, you and all other drivers on the road are required to carry a certain amount of car insurance. This insurance coverage is designed to cover expenses like property damage and medical bills if you get involved in an accident. However, depending on the type of insurance you have and what coverage the other driver has, your insurance payout after an accident might fall short. You should ask a personal injury attorney whether it would be worth filing a lawsuit against the driver or their insurance company.

Does the At-Fault Driver's Insurance Cover Your Injuries?

The type of car insurance policy owned by the driver who caused the accident will affect how much of your expenses are covered and how much you might still have to seek in a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for paying your medical expenses and property damage under that driver's liability policy.

If the insurance company offers you a low-ball settlement to try to save money, then your personal injury attorney might recommend taking the insurance company to court for a higher amount of compensation. However, the insurance company may be offering a low amount because the at-fault driver reached their policy limits.

Even though most drivers have liability coverage to comply with state law, every policy has a maximum amount that the insurance company will pay out per accident. For example, a driver's policy limit for bodily injury might be $15,000 per accident. In this scenario, if you incur more than $15,000 in medical bills due to the accident, then you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly to recoup those other costs.

In addition, the insurance company might not cover your lost wages or emotional damages if these costs are beyond policy limits, so you would have to seek compensation directly from the driver in a personal injury lawsuit.

What If They're Uninsured?

It's important to note that not every driver carries insurance, even though it's the law. If an uninsured driver crashes into you, you might not receive anything at all from an insurance company to offset your medical bills and property damage. A personal injury attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit against the driver for the full amount to ensure that you don't face financial hardship after the accident. Your attorney can help you gather evidence from the crash scene and organize proof of your injuries to present in a court of law, which may convince a judge or jury to grant you a fair compensation award.